This page contains some basic information on several everyday or an common food items used in Filipino cuisine.
Banana Blossom – The banana flower is mostly used in asian cooking, popular in Filipino, south Indian and Thai cooking. The banana flower is the flower of the banana. If you open the inside, you can see small flowers that would grow into bananas. Peel off all the outer layers till you get to the white centre. When you cut the flower open, rub it with lime or lemon juice and wrap with plastic to prevent oxidization or you can soak it in acidulated water. This is important as it goes brown very fast. The flavour is a little starchy and bitter, and is normally eaten as a complement to a dish as a side vegetable. Its also used a lot in salads mixed with tamarind. You can also fry or boil it.
Chilli – Red is chilli of choice
Soy Sauce – From light to dark, Soy is a mainstay in Filipino cooking
Fish Sauce – (Patis) Fish sauce is used in many Pinoy dishes, its flavour can be mild to very strong depending on the brand. A salty sauce.
Pandan Leaves – Mainly used in rice this fantastic plant also has many medical value's
Coconut – Abundant and widely used
Tengang Daga (Mushroom) – Cloud ear or Rats ear fungus, this black mushroom has lots of taste and can be used in soups or stir fried. Fresh if you can, dried if overseas.
Calamansi – is a fruit tree in the family Rutaceae native to the Philippine Islands and has been dubbed the calamondin, golden lime, panama orange, chinese orange, acid orange, calamonding, or calamandarin in English.
Sampalok ( Tamarind) – In Spanish and Portuguese, it is tamarindo; in the Philippines, sampalok or various other dialectal names; in Malaya, asam jawa; in India, it is tamarind or ambli, imli, chinch, etc.; in Cambodia, it is ampil or khoua me; in Laos, mak kham; in Thailand, ma-kharm.
Bagoong – (Tagalog pronunciation: [bɐɡuˈoŋ]) is a Philippine condiment made of partially or completely fermented fish or shrimps and salt. The fermentation process also results in fish sauce (known as patis).
Atsuete – Used as food colouring in traditional dishes
Labong (Bamboo shoots)
In Philippine cuisine, they are called labong. The two most popular dishes for this are ginataang labong (shoots with coconut milk and chilies) and dinengdeng na labong (shoots in fish bagoong with string beans, saluyot, and tinapa). Bamboo shoots are also pickled in the same manner as the papaya dish, atchara.
Pili (nuts) – Production centers are located in the Bicol region, provinces of Sorsogon, Albay, and Camarines Sur, southern Tagalog, and eastern Visaya. There is no commercial planting of this crop, fruits are collected from natural stands in the mountains near these provinces.
Tuyo– Dried fish